12/04/2012 09:10 BST | Updated 12/04/2012 09:22 BST

Peter Stringfellow Lends Support To Ukip Candidate

Strip Club owner Peter Stringfellow has offered his support to a Ukip candidate in a London by-election despite being a long-serving member of the Conservative Party.

Stringfellow, a long time donor of the Tories, will support Richard Bridgeman in the Hyde Park ward by-election for Westminster Council which takes place on 3 May.

The 71-year-old owns the famous Stringfellows strip club in Covent Garden and was a vocal campaigner against the council's plans to introduce evening and weekend parking charges.

The by-election was triggered after Tory council leader Colin Barrow resigned when he was forced to u-turn on the proposals.

Bridgeman, the 7th Earl of Bradford, who also opposed the parking plans, owns the Porters restaurant a short walk from Stringfellow's central London club.

As the Guido Fawkes website reports, Tory members who lend their support to opposition candidates are usually expelled from the party.

A spokesman for Ukip would not comment on whether Stringfellow would be giving any financial backing to Bridgeman.

Stringfellow recently criticised the government for failing to axe the 50p tax rate as soon as it came to power, claiming it was anti-business. In the event George Osborne cut it to 45p in his most recent Budget.

The Conservative candidate is Antonia Cox, a former leader writer for the Evening Standard. The Liberal Democrat candidate is Martin Thompson while Mark Cridge is standing for the Green Party.